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Barack Obama linked 2nd gen. SAS

So let me first start with a quick introduction .. my name is Barack Obama and apparently I'm the junior US Senator from Illinois :thumbsup: . I love slow walks on the beach and bed-side stories. Yeah I'm talking to you big boy:

Barack.jpg

Okay now onto the goods...

So recently I've been starting a few threads all relating to my Dana 44 front axle and other tid bits - so I figured it would be best if I just started an SAS thread to pull all of those threads together into one centralize place instead of having them floating about the sea of other threads.

Follow me now as I look back on the threads that I've started:

1) Reading Pinion Depth Number In this thread, I was confused on which number was the pinion depth offset number of my ring and pinion set for the Dana 44. After calling up the good people of Randy's Ring and Pinion, I was told that the numbers on the ring and pinion are no longer used for the pinion depth offset. So I'm like wtf m8!? They did give me a number to start from and so thats what I started with.

2) Ford 9" For Off-Road Use In this thread, I ask the general public what they think about the Ford-9" axle for off-road use. Conclusion, bowties - the GM 14-bolt axle with the stock Detroit locker is a God's send and so thats what I'm going with (it comes with a pinion bearing support - just like the Ford-9").

3) RE SuperFlex Assemby I've never put together a Rubicon Express SuperFlex Joint so in this thread, I ask the public how in the world these things are put togehter. And to be more specific, I was confused how to drive the plastic bushings into the housing. Conclusion - use a press <- faaantastic.

4) Hi-Steer Arms 10-degree Correction In this fabulous discussion, we discuss the ever-popular 10-degree correction that is often placed on High-Steer Arms. In the end, I decided to go with the Sky-Manufacturing arms (although I never updated the thread I dont think - darnit).

5) Dana 44 Ball Joint Sleeve > Replace? Ah finally, the pain in the asymptote. In this thread, which I have yet to resolve really, the problem is that the upper Ball Joint sleeve has frozen itself onto the "C" (aka inner knuckle). The issue has yet to be resolved so no conclusion yet.


Well then, lets dive into some concepts and design ideas.

3link_concept.jpg

As you can see, the front axle is located via a 3-link with a panhard bar. Each link will be mounted to the chassis using Rubicon Express Large SuperFlex Joint. Why go with the RE Joint? Well I was quite impressed at how much JEFE's front axle flexed - so I decided to go with the same joint. I recently asked him whether or not he has broken the 9/16" bolts used to attach the joint to the chassis and he said no - a big :thumbsup: . The link's body is made of a 2"x2" - 0.25" wall square tube - similar to Clayton Off-Road's long arms. Currently, my calculations are aiming for the bottom links to be 38.7" in length and the upper to be 34.2" (figures may change). This gives me an anti-dive of about 105% but I will make the upper link adjustable vertically at the chassis so the anti-dive characteristic can be fine tuned. The bottom links are angled "toe-out" becaue the Dana 44 is a "Wide-Track" axle and the Explorer's chassis is about 2" narrower than the Wide-Track axle's ideal mounting points. The "toe-out" angle however is not severe : about 2" out for the about total 38" length. The two bottom links are attached to the axle via a regular rubber-bushing. The upper "third" link is attached to the axle with the same type of rubber bushing except this one is adjustable - to allow for pinion angle changes.

Onto the front axle itself: As stated, the front "Wide Track" axle is from a Grand Wagoneer (I believe '86). Currently, its geared 5.13 with open differential. I'll throw in a locker in the future after I get this running. The axle was originally running the Wagoneer 6-lug bolt pattern but, because the rear GM 14-bolt is 8-lug, I switched the Dana 44 to 8-lug pattern using parts from a K20 (caliper bracket from a J20). As for the high-steer arms, as stated previously, I decided to go with SkyManufacturing's standard arms with the 10-degree correction angle (arms are on their way from CA).

The steering gear box is out of an IFS Toyota and the entire steering setup will utilize only Chevy TRE's except at the pitman arm.

The front axle will be suspended by Fox 2.5" Nitrogen Air Shocks with 16" of travel.

The rear axle, again as stated before, is a GM 14-bolt with a Detroit locker. Initially, it will be leaf sprung using the Explorer's stock leaf springs (with an AAL and WAR153s). However, I do plan on going 4-link in the near future after the Explorer starts rolling again.

Now onto some newbie pics..


The axle the day it arrived from New Jersey:
axle_pickup.jpg


Before last winter came, I emptied an entire can of Liquid Wrench (and other llubricants) into the differential to soak everything down in preparation for the following spring.
d44_greased.jpg


When spring finally came, the axle was torn down:
d44_housing.jpg


New carrier and new gears. The carrier bearings below are the set-up bearings which have had their inner races grinded down for repetative installation and removal on the carrier while the pinion and ring gear geometry was fine tuned:
d44_carrier.jpg

Spring also brought wheeling weather and I got high-centered on a rock so I decided to SOA the back for fun (the thing on the back is my snowboard and bike rack) and had to get my driveshaft retubed because it popped in half:
soa_backshot.jpg


The caliper brakets from a J20 after sand blasting and a coat of epoxy paint:
d44_caliperbracket_painted.jpg


Flat-top knuckles from a J10 masked off and ready for some epoxy paint:
d44_knuckle_ready_for_paint.jpg


Inner "C"s on the front axle sliced from the axle tubes (and temporarily knocked out about .125" for easier rotation) to set proper caster angle:
inner_c_sliced.jpg


Chevy K20 8-lug rotors .. "Oh my Mr. Obama, what big rotors you have. Why yes Sally, I do have big rotors." :
d44_rotor.jpg


Chevy K20 calipers:
d44_caliper.jpg


And finally for now, the RE SuperFlex joints:
re_joint.jpg


As for tires, right now I have a set of 36" TSL-SX's I bought for cheap from a local individual.


So what's in the future? Well the rest of the link parts are on their way - as well as the high steer arms. The Fox shocks will be purchased in about 2 weeks and the 14-bolt axle will be picked up about 3 weeks to a month after that. The rear axle is the least of my worries so that's the last thing on this Senator's mind.
 



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paragon_10.jpg


Thats avatar material right there.

BTW, whats with the hood?

And I NEED to see this thing in action some time, once me and linds finish our SAS's and rookie finishes the zuk, we have to get out on some harder stuff.
 



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IZ, dude you're killing us SASer's, we can't compete with that! Very nice man :thumbsup:
 






I suspect that red strap is for a falling hood..
 












GOOD GRIEF, Iz!! :eek: Yeah... I uhh...I definitely take back that rTi challenge :notworthy

Oh, and Ben-
fing09.gif
I only get lost because of all the distractions!
 






Spas said:
GOOD GRIEF, Iz!! :eek: Yeah... I uhh...I definitely take back that rTi challenge :notworthy

Oh, and Ben-
fing09.gif
I only get lost because of all the distractions!

Being distracted by shiny metal object again? :D
fighting.gif
 






sn0border88 said:
BTW, whats with the hood?
Its good practice to keep the hood up while winching -- in case something snaps, the hood is there to stop whatever is flying instead of the glass/forehead. Even though I'm using the synthetic rope, it still has a hook at the other end so -- just being ultra cautious :confused:


JoshC said:
IZ, dude you're killing us SASer's, we can't compete with that! Very nice man :thumbsup:
Thanks but I'm merely a sitting on the shoulders of giants .. my SAS build has been based on other SAS builds on this forum -- and some very helpful tips and suggestions from many.


Blee1099 said:
I suspect that red strap is for a falling hood..
Yeah the strap is to hold up the hood cauz the gas-lifter shock thingies are no longer working.


Spas said:
GOOD GRIEF, Iz!! :eek: Yeah... I uhh...I definitely take back that rTi challenge
I saw the RTI at Staging Area 1 (i think) on the way in the first day but I forgot to come back to it :confused:
 






There is an RTI ramp in the entrance parking area. As you come in its at the bottom left corner of the parking area. If i had the metal I would build one but cant justify spending that much for steel.
 






So are you pleased with the Air shox? Hows the on road drive with them? Ive been thinking about these for the BII for a while.
 






Joe93 said:
So are you pleased with the Air shox? Hows the on road drive with them? Ive been thinking about these for the BII for a while.
I'm pleased with the air shocks but I can't really compare them to the other devices (coils, coil-overs) because I've never ran the other setups.

On the road, it drives fine -- just dont make fast sharp turns :D
 


















Just got done reading the entire post -- great build and thanks for the inspiration. One of these days I'll get my own SAS done... :D

About the tire balance thing... Both of my kiddos work at a local shop -- in fact, my oldest just bought into a shop as part owner -- and from their experience in mounting 20 + sets of big x huge off-road tires a week, the junk inside the tires for balance JUST DOES NOT WORK.

Go somewhere that actually understands off-road tires, and has the equipment to deal with them and get them balanced with external weights.

That will solve about 90% of your 50 mph issue.

We've cleaned so much gunk out of tires from guys reading posts on-line that say that the junk is supposed to balance the tires that we collect it in 5 gallon buckets -- from golf balls, to bb's, to air shot, to lead shot, to ball bearings, to tennis balls, to whatever the mind can get around, we've taken it out of tires. Most are shredded on the inside from all the friction -- NONE ever ran down the road without humping all over the place. All (that survived being filled with junk) ran nicely after a decent balance.

We generally use stick-on weights as near the center hub as is possible. If brakes or something are problematic, we use the regular clamp on weights, surrounded by a bead of silicone to make sure they stay there.
 






glfresrick I used the equal balance powder in my 33" MT's with great results
I run the Equal in addition to the static balacing and I noticed the differece right away.
35K miles later when the MT's wore out I replaced them, the Equal powder was still in power form, none of it stuck to the tire. Also remember I air down to 10 psi and back up to 32 psi ALOT, many times using my under hood air compressor (ARB) and there is no moisture collector on that compressor, however since it is such a dry climate here in CO maybe that contributed to the powder staying powder?

All I can tell you is the Equal powder worked for me! My shimmy went away, and noticed after wheeling and getting the tires packed with mud and or snow the balance was still better then usual once the tires were packed with junk

I would not rely on just the powder to do the entire balance, especially since some of the MT's I run and wheels take ALOT of weights to get the static balance to zero
 






The way it is supposed to work, is that the stuff inside the tires finds the spot where the weight is needed, then migrates there under spin.

In actuality, I've seen just the opposite happen. The stuff in the tire just heads to one spot and it is as if you are swinging a bucket on a rope... All the weight is on one side and it will almost ruin a set of shocks with one freeway venture.

I've not run the powder - or seen anyone that has, it may, in limited quantities, do something, and I trust that you are seeing results, but I'd still not recommend that people run stuff IN their tires. I've just been at it for far too long, and have seen WAY too many bad balance jobs. We tried all that stuff WAY back in the early 70s when big tires first hit the market, and there wasn't a machine that could do anything with them... That was BEFORE spin balancers, so I've been doing it for a LONG time... :D
 






To add to this discussion, we have to flat beds at the warehouse both 4wd, F450 and F550. Both are around 10,000 lbs. They have the large rims, 22's i think, but we run retreads because it is cheaper and we put the powder in them. I use to drive the 450 and it would beat you to death. The 550 runs the same retreads and i'm not 100% sure if they put the powder in them or regular weights, but it rides great. It is also an 06 with coils.
 






22.5 inch 10 bolt rims are on the f-550.
 






same on the 450 and i know they are ungodly heavy!
 






glfredrick said:
Go somewhere that actually understands off-road tires, and has the equipment to deal with them and get them balanced with external weights.
That will solve about 90% of your 50 mph issue..
Thanks -- I'll probably do that after I rebuild the front axle and fix a few problems.
 



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I'm off next week so this is what I have planned

Re-doing the panhard mount on the chassis end:
panhard_chassis_2.jpg


Also, one of the problems I was having before was I used a hole saw to cut the 1" hole for the 1" heim on the axle end. Obviously a hole saw is not very accurate at cutting exact diameter holes so to get around this problem, I'm going to use a hi-misalignment bushing to bring the hole down to 5/8" - which I can be drilled easily and with good accuracy. And also I'm going to redo the panhard-mount on the axle. This are the misalignment bushings I bought from BallisticFabrication
hms114.JPG


Another problem was I used an el-cheapo heim joint on the axle and of the panhard. So I'm going to replace that with one of better quality -- which arrived today.
panhard_heim.jpg
 






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